Welcome to the LEES Lab

The LEES Lab at the CGCEO of Michigan State University, directed by Dr.Jiquan Chen, is interested in scientific investigations and education on fundamental ecosystem and landscape processes for understanding ecosystem functions and management.

Our current studies are focused on the carbon and water cycles of different ecosystems (grassland, desert, forest, cropland, wetlands, freshwater) at multiple spatial and temporal scales, bioenergy systems and resource uses, coupled interactions, and feedback between climatic change and human activities, and sustainable management and conservation.

Our research projects, spreading mostly across North American and Asian landscapes, are based on sound field experiments and monitoring stations, state-of-the-art equipment and technology, modeling, and remote sensing technology.

We maintain a high ethical and liberal standard for professional collaborations in research and education. The lab is home of the book series on "Ecosystem Science and Applications – ESA" for the Higher Education Press (HEP) and De Gruyter. Dr. Chen, Editor-in-Chief of Ecological Processes

, also encourages those interested to contact him about journal submissions or information.

Featured Article

Diurnal to annual changes in latent, sensible heat, and CO2 fluxes over a Laurentian Great Lake: A case study in Western Lake Erie

Shao, C., J. Chen, C. A. Stepien, H. Chu, Z. Ouyang, T. B. Bridgeman, K. P. Czajkowski, R. H. Becker, and R. John (2015), Diurnal to annual changes in latent, sensible heat, and CO2 Fluxes over a Laurentian Great Lake: A case study in Western Lake Erie
J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosci., 120,1587-1604, doi:10.1002/ 2015JG003025.

Featured on AGU'S Eos Research Spotlight
NASA’s Aqua satellite catches a rare glimpse of a cloudless summer day over the Great Lakes. Together, Lakes Superior, Huron, Michigan, Ontario, and Erie make up the largest body of fresh water on Earth. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
NASA’s Aqua satellite catches a rare glimpse of a cloudless summer day over the Great Lakes. Together, Lakes Superior, Huron, Michigan, Ontario, and Erie make up the largest body of fresh water on Earth. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Large bodies of water, such as the Great Lakes, may uniquely influence the exhange of heat and gases between the atmosphere and the water's surface. These exchanges can hold great influence over regional climate and ecological processes. To learn more about these dynamics, we employed eddy covarience techniques to measure the exchanges in latent and sensible heat and in CO2 fluxes over 2011–2013 in the Western Lake Erie Basin.

Our results indeed revealed that large inland lakes play an important role in regional carbon and water cycling. To name a few: the basin became a small carbon sink during both summers, but acted as a net carbon source from 2011 to 2013; significally strong correlations between the carbon flux and cholorphyll a on monthly scales were found; and 90% of the annual rainfall was returned back to the atmosphere. With this insight, we encourage future research to include inland lakes when evaluating regional climate or carbon and water cycles.